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Last Updated: Wednesday, 18 October 2006, 16:22 GMT 17:22 UK
'Berlin's Louvre' opens to public
Exterior of Berlin's Bode Museum
The museum sustained extensive damage during World War II
A Berlin museum whose wealth of treasures has seen it likened to Paris's Louvre is opening its doors after six years of restoration.

The Bode Museum was built in 1904 but its collection of more than 1,700 works was split between East and West Germany during the Cold War.

The 162m-euro (109m) restoration work repaired damage that the neo-Baroque building sustained during World War II.

It is reopening to the public on Thursday, on the city's Museum Island.

Renovations

The collections of coins and Byzantine art are some of the world's most impressive, and the Bode also houses outstanding examples of German and Italian gothic, renaissance and baroque art.

Arne Effenberger, director of the Bode's sculpture collection and museum of Byzantine art, told Reuters news agency that builders only realised how much damage the building had suffered when they began renovating it.

"This wonderful collection is now together again," he said.

Man looking at wood carving
The collection houses dozens of gothic and renaissance works

Berlin's Museum Island is a Unesco world heritage site, home to the city's five major museums.

The island sits in the Spree river, in the heart of the former East Berlin.

Other sites in the complex include the ancient Greek and near Eastern collections of the Pergamon Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie, which houses 19th Century European art.

The Alte Nationalgalerie was reopened in 2001 after a three-year restoration and the entire complex is in the midst of a 1.2bn euro renovation programme, scheduled to finish in 2015.


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Major Berlin gallery reopens
03 Dec 01 |  Entertainment

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